Retro Tees with the Cricut Easy Press 2

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This post is sponsored by Cricut.  I received the Cricut Easy Press 2 in exchange for promotion.  All thoughts in this post are my own.

It’s no secret that we’re huge Cricut fans in our house.  We’ve all gotten spoiled and love to create looks that we dream up ourselves.  As a seamstress, I love to create clothes and pick out pattern and fabric combos that suit both me and my children.  The Cricut Maker, Easy Press 2, and sewing products help us take our handmade wardrobe to the next level.

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I’ve been absolutely loving all the rainbow and vintage vibe tees and sweatshirts that are everywhere these days.  It was so much fun to come up with our own sayings and designs and use our handy Cricut tools to create looks that fit their personalities.

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The Cricut EasyPress 2 makes ironing on your vinyl designs such a breeze.  I’m loving the new vibrant color and three different sizes that will suit all your needs.  The small 6″x7″ size works great for baby clothes and little projects.  The medium 9″x9″ size is super versatile and a great all-purpose machine.  The large 12″x10” has been fantastic for our family.  It’s great for youth and adult clothing and has been getting a work out at our house.

The EasyPress 2 is easy to use and is so quick and handy.  It heats up so fast and the ceramic coated plate produces smooth, even heating (something my iron sure lacked!).  I use mine on my kitchen table and I know that it’s protected from the heat by the insulated safety base and the EasyPress Mat.  It gets up to 400 degrees and irons on your designs in no time.  The easy to read digital display makes it easy to set the temperature and timer to suit your iron-on material and fabric.  And I love that it’s easy to store on my shelf and is light and portable.  Phew!  So many great qualities!  I honestly don’t know how I lived without mine.

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When creating these looks I turned to Cricut Design Space and the loads of fonts at my finger tips!  You can create this look for yourself here.  I used the Playroom Sampler pack, with Kelly, Orange, and Sky but I think it’d look amazing in an array of Glitter Iron-On as well.

I’m a Cricut Iron-On convert.  After using different brands I’ve been thrilled with how well our Cricut brand makes have held up.  Cricut has introduced the StrongBond guarantee that will give you the confidence and peace of mind that your iron-on projects will last and last.  The StrongBond guarantee means that if your Cricut iron-on products are used as directed and you’re not completely satisfied, Cricut will replace it for free.  Cricut Iron-on products are made to last 50+ wash and dry cycles and I’m here to testify that ours have taken a beating and still look amazing.  That’s a big deal with kids- their favorites can stick around until they’re outgrown!

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I used the Samson Sweater from Love Notions sized up one and with an extra wide bottom band to give it that oversized look.  This french terry from Raspberry Creek is one of my favorite fabrics for fall.  (I love it so much I used it for my little guys joggers too!)  It’s nice and thick and worked wonderfully with the iron-on.

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This Legendary tee was another fun design.  This kiddo has certainly reached ‘legend’ status at our house so this tee was just too perfect for him.  I used the Boho Sampler pack of Everyday Iron-On for this look.  I used the #121 Ringer Raglan pattern from Thread Faction- I can’t get enough of that slim fit!

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I used the Lexi and Lou Loungers from Made for Mermaids for his pants.  I added a long vinyl stripe down the side and in the pocket for a touch of color.  The large EasyPress made ironing on the stripe simple and easy!  One bonus of making a garment is that you can iron things on flat, before they get completely sewn together.  I sewed up the pockets and side seam, EasyPressed the stripes on, then continued with the construction.

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This design is a trial and error look.  I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use my Iron-On materials and this one was a fun one.  I took strips of each color and taped them together using transfer tape on the plastic backing.  I cut the design out in white iron-on and applied it to the sweatshirt.  I then cut the design out of my rainbow piece and applied it directly on top of the white lettering.  It’s far from perfect but that just means I get to keep trying it until I get it just right!  I love the look and used the same technique here too.  You can get this design in Design Space here.

Her top was made using the Striped Swallow Designs Apres Ski.  Those big full sleeves take this sweatshirt from boring to brilliant.

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I’m thrilled with this whole Retro Rainbow collection and love how quick and easy it was to make with our Cricut products.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Sewing for my favorite season

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The kids are back in school AND Raspberry Creek Fabrics released their new fall line.  You know what that means, right?!  Let the fall sewing begin!

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I started off my sewing binge with a little something for me.  The Greenstyle Brassie Joggers are a staple in my wardrobe.  I wear them any chance I get.  I have a handful now and whether I know my day will be filled with running errands or spent at my sewing machines, my Brassies are what I reach for.  Comfort in all things.  This pair was made using this floral french terry (I love the prints on the grey base in the new line!).  I paired it with a teal Panama Tee, my favorite pattern for more stable fabrics like cotton lycra.

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Another staple in our house is the Camden Tee. Do I sound like a broken record here? If you can believe it I’d never done the sleeve stripes before and I knew they’d be perfect for this version.  This retro stripe is just perfect for fall.

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This Windowpane Plaid is such a great transitional fabric.  I love the bright colors and it’s so cute with jeans.  I used the Willow Raglan from Striped Swallow Designs.  I love all the options with this pattern.  I hacked it just a bit into a hi-low peplum (a straight peplum top is included in the pattern).  I used the 10 top length for the front peplum piece and then blended the back piece from the top to the dress length.

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The keyhole back neckline is super fun.  I love playing with plaids and stripes on the bias and this bodice just makes me happy!

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My little guy got a couple new tees too!  This one is the Helter Skelter Tee from Shwin Designs.  I love colorblocked tees and especially love when a pattern does all the work for me.  And how cute are these little buddies?!  He loves when photo shoots include friends (the one on the left is my darling nephew and on the right is the amazing Anna from Kainara Stiches son).

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The Skiff Tee from Jennuine Designs is another fun color blocked tee.  It has the cutest hidden pocket in the bodice seam too.  He was a super fan of that pocket!

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I’m dying over this amazing quilted knit!  It’s so cozy and that color is just stunning in real life.  I love it paired with the blush and burgundy floral (my secret favorite from the whole fall line, shhhh, don’t tell the other fabrics!).  I used the Ebony Sweater from Shwin Designs.  The relaxed fit just makes it so much cozier don’t you think!

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The leggings are Love Notions free Leggins’ pattern.  It’s the leggings pattern I use the most for my girls.  I love the yoga waistband and the slim fit just works so well on my girls.  I’m going to need to sew a big batch of them for fall.

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One last look to get our fall sewing started.  The Hey Juniors line from Hey June Handmade is something I couldn’t live without.  I used the Morrison Tee here and it was great to break out a pattern I hadn’t sewn in awhile and realize I’d been missing out.  We were hoping for a boxy sweatshirt look and this pattern was just what we wanted.

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This Floral French Terry just needed to shine on it’s own and I think this simple silhouette really helps it out.  It’s bright and bold and paired so well with her new jeggings.

It felt so good to churn out some much needed fall wardrobe pieces.  I love sewing with CLUB knits and the quick cute projects I can do with them!

Personalizing our wardrobes with Cricut

This post is sponsored by Cricut.  I received all Cricut products in exchange for promotion.  All thoughts and projects in this post are my own.  I’m thrilled to introduce you to some fantastic new Cricut products!

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I’ve got an addiction folks.  I can’t stop vinyling ALL. THE. THINGS!  I’m excited to be sharing a couple of our recent designs that are now available on Cricut Design Space!  You can also check them out over on the Cricut blog.

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I designed these files using Design Space and Cricut Access.  There were so many fun graphics to choose from and the hardest part was narrowing it down to these three.  This Vacation Mode design is a nod to my favorite vacation destination- a sunny beach with palm trees, sand, and a beautiful ocean view.

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This Paradise Tee was made for my flamingo loving daughter.  Flamingos just symbolize the chill, relaxed life.  They’ve got it made hanging out in the water and just soaking it all in.

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The Summertime Vibes tee was the first design I did as we ushered in summer and said goodbye to the cool spring days.  Summertime means lazy days, family time, and lots of sunshine.

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For this design I was anxious to try out the new Cricut SportFlex Iron-On.  I made this rash guard for my kiddo and used my Cricut EasyPress to adhere this to the front.  To get the right settings for SportFlex and swim fabric I turned to my Cricut expert and pal Paisley Roots.

This is what she found and it’s worked perfectly:

EASYPRESS: Heat up your Easy Press to 305 Degrees and make sure to warm your garment for 10-15 seconds before laying the vinyl on top. Using medium pressure, press on top of the vinyl for 30 seconds, then turn the garment over and press the back for 15 seconds.
It’s also recommended to warm peel.
REGULAR IRON: it’s recommended to put it on Wool setting. Warm up your garment for 10-15 seconds before laying your vinyl then press the front of the garment for 50 seconds and the back for 15 seconds. Cold Peel.
He’s worn this rash guard constantly and it’s been in chlorine, splash pads, and sun.  It’s held up so well and still looks brand new!  Hooray for SportFlex!
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I’m so excited to introduce to you all my favorite Cricut products EVER!  The original EasyPress changed my crafting life and the new EasyPress 2 machines are even better!
They now come in three different sizes- 6″x7″, 9″x9″, and 12″x10″ for all your iron-on needs.  The EasyPress is simple to use, heats up in just 60 seconds, and is a great alternative to a standard heat press.
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I love how convenient it is.  I never considered a conventional heat press for safety and storage reasons and my regular household iron was not consistent.  My EasyPress addressed all those issues.  It’s easy to store and the insulated resting base protects surfaces.  I often let my kids use the EasyPress (with my supervision of course!) because it’s so easy to use and the hot surface stays away from your body.  Use the EasyPress Mat or a thick, folded towel under you project to protect your surface and to absorb the heat.  You can find all the recommended settings here.  It couldn’t be easier!
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I’m loving the cute mini version.  This one is going to live in my sewing space because it is absolutely perfect for little projects like adding iron-on size tags to all my handmade garments (you can see a whole post about how I make them here).  I was blown away by how quickly this little guy heated up!  It was ready in no time at all.
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The new 12″x10″ EasyPress is such a great addition to the line up too!  It was so nice to be able to iron-on a wide design in one pass.  Since I make a ton of personalized tees and sweatshirts for my family, this one will be heaven-sent.

I couldn’t wait to try out the new machines and whipped up some back to school tees in no time.

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Whether you’re still in summer mode or planning for fall, Cricut has you covered!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Project Run and Play Pattern Shop

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There’s a new pattern shop in town and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  I hold a special place in my heart for all things Project Run and Play and now you can get patterns inspired by past contestant entries in one place- The Project Run and Play Pattern Shop!

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As designers on Project Run and Play you pour your whole heart into each week’s creations.  The level of creativity and craftmanship is amazing.  And don’t forget the HUGE amount of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into each look.  It’s only fitting that these looks get turned into patterns by so many of the designers.  All that hard work needs to be shared with the world!

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This week’s featured patterns are the accessories.  I sewed up The Tie pattern created by Shannon of Little Kids Grow for season 6.   This pattern has kids and adult sizes and is on sale right now!

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I was so excited to see some of my other favorite patterns in the shop!  The Janie Dress is a staple in our house.  It’s the perfect skater dress pattern with loads of options.

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The Sydney Pinafore is so unique and beyond cute!  These little shorties were worn constantly last summer by this girly and reluctantly were passed on to little sister this summer.  Lil sis has loved them just as much!  Such a fun pattern!

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Dressage Leggings are another staple in our house.  I love the color blocking option so much!  It’s so fun to mix prints and they fit my girls so well.

There are so many patterns in the shop on my to-sew list too!  I’m ashamed to admit I’ve had a Thyme Vest cut and ready to sew since last fall (it’s top of my list once my kiddos head back to school!).  My little guy needs a Puffin Vest paired with some sk8 Skinnies for back to school too!

What’s catching your eye?!  Make sure to check out all the past contestants who sewed up all the amazing patterns in the shop.

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Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter too!

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Swimsuit Sewing 2018

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I’ve been holding out on you guys!  I can’t believe I haven’t shared all the swim goodness that’s been happening at our house.  I’d like to thank Raspberry Creek Fabrics for giving me the push I needed to sew a million swimsuits this year- ok, maybe not a million but we’ve been busy for sure.

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This little man has gotten three swimsuits so far this year.  You know me, once I start it’s hard for me to stop sewing swim.  It’s so quick and rewarding and they get worn constantly.  This suit is a Jolly Roger Raglan turned rashguard.  I was dying to try the new Cricut Sportflex vinyl on swim knit and I’m happy to say it’s held up so well.  The rash guards in this post have been to the pool multiple times and washed in the machine as well and the vinyl looks brand new.  I’m happy to have a fun, easy, quality way to personalize our swimsuits.

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The shorts are the Peek-a-Boo Patterns School’s Out Shorts.  I used the girl cut line and love the length on him.  It’s very retro and just like the big boys are wearing.

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This suit is made with the Linden Shorts pattern and add-on pack from Sew A Little Seam.  This palm print from Raspberry Creek’s newest swim line was one of my favorites and I just knew this little guy needed a suit from it.

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Is this just not the picture of a happy kid, living the dream summer life?!

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His last suit, so far, is the Sew Like My Mom Palm Euro suit.  I love the fit of this pattern and that it’s a little looser around the front area, if you know what I mean.  I think it’s cute and not too snug and so easy to play in.

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This sweet tween just keeps shooting up and growing out of her suits.  I’m currently making her a 7/8 width and a 12 length which makes store bought suits something we just can’t do.  She’s loving this darling red suit we just made and she’s rocking these two as well.

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This is the Made for Mermaids Calypso suit (I can’t sing the praises of the M4M Mermaid Shores suits enough!).  I love this fabric combo and this particular suit really comes together so quick.  Those flutters don’t need to be hemmed or gathered- hallelujah!  The RCF swim is nice and thick and not nearly as slippery as some of the other swim I’ve encountered.  It makes sewing through all those layers pretty painless.  I just make sure to clip more than with normal knits and my serger is my bff when it comes to swim knit.

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Can we talk about that booty coverage for a minute?!  That’s one of my favorite things about all the Mermaid Shores patterns.  I hate seeing my kids with wedgies the whole time their swimming and these bottoms just stay where they’re supposed to.  Those M4M girls know what this mama likes!

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Her other suit is a combo of my sons’ looks too.  I just had to try the Palm Euro pattern on her.  She loves boy short bottoms and I think this pattern was so perfect for her!  I love the little extra length they have over normal girl patterns.  This top is our trusty Camden Raglan from Hey June.  The only alteration I did to make it a rash guard was to do a self lining on the front, essentially it’s just two layers of the white swim knit.  It worked lovely and isn’t a bit see through.  I used my Cricut again for her graphic and love this cute little set.

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I’ve got a couple more suits lined up before summer’s end.  I really love being able to sew suits to not only fit their personalities and personal style but also fit their unique body types.   This is the main reason I sew for these kiddos and one of those things that brings my pure joy!

Movie Night Pj’s and a Lesson Learned

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Is there anything better than new pajamas?!! I don’t think so!  I love my kids in fresh pj’s but chances are you’ll catch them sleeping in old tees and thread bare bottoms (if they even manage to change out of their clothes they wore that day).  New pajamas are almost irresistible and I can guarantee they’ll reach for them any chance they’re clean.

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This kiddo was especially in need of summer sleepwear as he’s had a major growth spurt and none of his fit from last year.  The free Movie Night Pajamas from Sew A Little Seam (grab the code in the Facebook Group) were exactly what I was looking for.  I decided to sew up a batch all at once and knew I could count on Kelly’s pattern to come together great.  Here’s where I learned my lesson…

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I have been sewing PDF patterns for about 5 years now and it’s about time I made this mistake.  As the school year was coming close to an end I wanted to pack in as many projects as I could into my last few afternoons alone.  I printed off about 8 patterns and assembled a handful to be ready for some serious sewing time.  I cut and sewed two sets of pajamas and couldn’t figure out why they were so big!  He tried on the yoga waistband mid-sew and it was huge.  I naively thought it was just his little waist and took in the band a couple of inches.  I completed both sets and just thought the pattern must run a little on the loose side.

It wasn’t until a day later as I was assembling another pattern from a different designer that it dawned on me how unusual the pattern had printed, leaving almost nothing to trim off the edges.  I FINALLY got my ruler out to see that everything I’d printed had been printed to fit the page, not actual size like they should be.  Duh!!!  I rarely check to make sure the correct settings are selected because I’m the primary user of our printer.  You better believe I’ll do it every time now.  My 1 inch square was just 1/16th off, not a big deal, right?!!  Well, now I know exactly how much that 1/16th can affect the body of a pattern piece.

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I just had to go back and do another set so I could get a true sense for how it was supposed to fit and to see just how much it had affected the final product.  I’m super happy I caught it before I had assembled the rest of the stack of patterns I’d printed and so glad I made the mistake on pajamas, a garment that is still totally wearable even if it’s a little big.  You will see in this post the difference in fit between the planes and bears, the ‘bad’ versions, and the mustard stripes, the correct fit.

You can see that the fit of the planes isn’t terrible just looser and wider than expected.  The stripe pj’s fit him like his favorite ready-to-wear ones, close but not too snug.

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Don’t you just love them though!  These fabrics from Raspberry Creek and Riley Blake are just so soft, they make the perfect pajamas!  My kids reach for their RCF pj’s over and over and I feel like they never get worn out.  I also love that they can pick cute novelty prints for them that I might not be drawn to for everyday clothes.  This little guy has been wanting that bear fabric ever since it released so he’s one happy camper!

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Please tell me I’m not alone in getting all the way through constructing a garment before figuring out my error.  What has been your biggest “Doh” moment while sewing?  I know we all make mistakes (What would we do without out our handy seam rippers?) and I’d love to hear your stories.  I love that through our mistakes we can learn and turn those ‘What was I thinking?’ instances into ‘I’ll never do that again!’ lessons.

 

Sewing WITH Kids

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As my kids get older they’ve caught the sewing bug.  They get an idea in their heads then just have to get it sewn up right then- sound familiar sewists?!  Today I’m going to share a few of their favorite makes and our tips for a happy sewing experience.

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This guy just dives right into each project with absolutely no fear.  I never really taught him how to sew and remember the day when he was about 8-years-old and I caught him mending his socks with my serger.  No intimidation with this kid!

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My older kids are not really interested in sewing up pillowcases, bags, or other standard beginner projects.  I think since I sew primarily clothing, that’s what they want to sew too.  He really wanted a hoodie like his older brothers and we sewed this up in an afternoon.  Hoodies are a go-to for me when teaching my kids to sew.  My oldest has made a couple of Greenstyle Hudson Hoodies and my younger kids love the Hey June Hatteras Hoodie.  The bands make it easy to finish with no knit hems and I think a hood can be even easier to do than a tricky knit neckband.  For the most part hoodies can be done on a serger which makes for a more professional finish that they’ll be proud of.  Another bonus with hoodies is that french terry is a great fabric to work with.  It’s nice and thick and doesn’t curl as easily as thinner knits.

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He made this last fall and wore this constantly all winter long!  A couple other easy projects I’ve made with my older boys are t shirts (this one from Jalie or the Jolly Roger Raglan from P4P are favorites), joggers (Boxwoods from Sew Like My Mom and Mini Hudson Pants from True Bias), and pajamas (the free Walk the Plank bottoms from P4P).

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This sweet girly loves to sew as well.  She took a sewing class last summer with her best friend and I’ve been super grateful she did.  She was able to learn all the proper techniques and gain the confidence to really tackle projects on her own.  During her class she used a regular sewing machine and made bags, pillows, and pajamas.  They taught her how to cut out patterns and which stitches to use.  For her first big project at home she also sewed up a Hatteras Hoodie with her brother.  It was so fun having them working side by side!

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She loves to sew birthday gifts for her friends.  She makes backpacks, sleeping masks, and hair things.  We love the Made for Mermaids HUGE collection of Free Patterns– there are tons of great beginner projects and loads of things perfect for gifting.

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Her latest sew was a fun one!  We sewed the Mainland Collection from Striped Swallow Designs together.  She sewed the Rhapsody Joggers and I did the Highlander Dolman.    She picked these darling fabrics from our Project Run and Play winnings from Riley Blake Designs.  They are so cute together and such a great weight, making them easy to work with.

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The top is also another great beginner project that I think she could do on her own next time.  We changed a few things with the patterns to make them even quicker, easier sews.

We did a wide yoga waistband on the joggers and a wide band on the bottom of the top.  She plans to wear this set primarily as lounge wear so comfort was key!  It also made construction even easier.

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The pocket construction on these pants is super fun and quite easy for her to figure out.  I love the oversized look of them too!

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I changed the sleeves to have a wide cuff, one of my favorite features on tops lately.  I think it adds a cute detail to this top.

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I think the most difficult part of this top is the bound neckline and optional ties.  It’s such a nice finish and she’s so meticulous that I’m sure she could handle it next time.  It’s definitely my favorite thing about this pattern!

mainland5Here’s a breakdown of some of my tips for sewing with older kids:

1- Let them pick their project.  They’re more likely to finish a project they’ve picked themselves and will be proud to wear the finished garment if it’s something they’ve been eyeing in stores.

2- Pick fabrics that are easy to sew with.  I like thick knits like cotton/lycra (Raspberry Creek, Art Gallery, and Riley Blake are perfect!) or french terry (Raspberry Creek has you covered!).  For wovens, I love Robert Kaufman Mammoth flannels for pj’s or quilting cottons for household projects.  Good quality fabric might be hard on the wallet but it’ll make all the difference in how easy it is to sew and how well the finished project will hold up.

3- If you’d use a serger on the project, let your kids use it also.  I know that blade is scary but I’ve found my kids are cautious and careful around it.  We use clips to hold pieces together and they work great at making sure they sew nice and slow too!

4- Go easy on them but also make them unpick when necessary.  When I learned to sew as a teen I was so resentful of my seam ripper.  My mom made me unpick things until they were perfect.  Guess what I’ve learned- perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!  If it’s close enough and won’t cause problems further in the construction, let it be.  Sometimes though a little seam ripping just needs to be done.  When sewing these joggers my daughter sewed a cuff on with the seam on the outside.  She quickly ripped the seam out and had it sewn on correctly in no time.  Lesson learned!  We grow the most from our mistakes so don’t deny them that opportunity, lol!

5- Have fun!  It’s hard not to think that you could probably finish the project in half the time but sit back and enjoy those moments with your kiddos.  They go too quickly!